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The basic problem is that film producers promote movies that they think their audience wants to see, rather than the movies that they SHOULD see. American Sniper was playing in theatres at the same time as "Selma". Since "Selma" had only limited showings in many markets, its box office receipts were $52 million worldwide (on a budget of $20 million). American Sniper grossed $350 million on a budget of $58 million.
(Interesting side note is that Bradley Cooper played a leading role in both American Sniper and A Star is Born - and he died in both movies).
Square Bob Sponge Pants was also in theatres the same time as "Selma" (as was Hot Tub Time Machine 2) and took in $85,000,000. Its sequel a few months later took in $163,000,000.
The original version of "Hot Tub Time Machine" took in $50,000,000, but its 2015 sequel only took in $14 million.
You're right, though. Anything that is too thought-provoking is not going to appeal to the MAGA crows.
Somewhat surprisingly, "Green Book" has already earned $70,000,000, so MAYBE the general public is finally starting to wise up a little. BlacKkKlansman has also brought in a respectable $49 million so far. Both movies should profit from their Oscars.